Microsoft today held the first of 10 regional pop-up DreamSpace events at St Eunan’s College in Letterkenny, Donegal. The educational experience, which has been running at its Sandyford campus since last year, is now being rolled out across rural Ireland to ensure that every school and every student in Ireland has the opportunity to experience DreamSpace.
Today registrations open for schools to take part in the free DreamSpace experience at Microsoft’s Sandyford campus over the next academic year. Microsoft hopes to build on the hugely successful academic year from September 2018 to June 2019 where it anticipates over 15,000 students and 500 teachers will have visited DreamSpace at One Microsoft Place.
The 10 regional pop-up events will take place across Munster, Ulster and Connacht by the end of this academic year with dates and locations to be announced in the coming weeks. The events will include more than one school so that smaller rural schools can take part in Microsoft’s immersive educational event.
Today the Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh TD joined students from Killian National School in Inver; Letterkenny schools Scoil Mhuire Gan Smal, Educate Together and St Eunan’s College and Cloughfin National School in Lifford at the DreamSpace on the Road session.
The digital skills experience aims to inspire students to potentially choose a career that involves technology. Students engage in an interactive event that helps them develop collaborative, critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Today’s event, which aims to help young people understand the power of technology across all industries, includes design and coding.
Speaking at the launch, Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh TD said, “I’m pleased to join Microsoft in launching the first regional DreamSpace. It is important to bring this learning experience to students in rural communities like Donegal. I have enjoyed watching the local primary and secondary school students work together to navigate the challenges posed by this learning experience. They have discovered how technology together with their imagination can help them develop ingenious solutions. I believe that these events across rural Ireland will help inspire students and encourage them to see that STEM subjects are critical to success as the digital transformation takes place across every aspect of our world. I’d like to thank Microsoft for creating this unique learning environment and for its ongoing support and investment in education in Ireland”.
Kevin Marshall, Head of Education at Microsoft Ireland added, “Microsoft is committed to Ireland and the students of Ireland. We are supporting the Department of Education’s ambition for Ireland to be Europe’s STEM leader by 2026. The completion of our EUR134m state of the art campus in Sandyford included a EUR5m investment in our dedicated education hub, DreamSpace. This immersive experience is a critical resource to show students the power of technology and help them understand how they can participate in the digital age. We are now rolling out this experience across the country with these pop-up events”.
“The DreamSpace experience helps students understand their place in the world, inspires them to realise their full potential and embrace the world of the future. We have developed a tailored experience for students based on their age, skills level and areas of interest. Technology has a place across many industries and careers and DreamSpace allows students to see how technology can empower them to be a critical part of tomorrow’s world”.
Due to its popularity and the success of the project there is expected to be significant demand for the free experience. Schools or youth groups interested in the opportunity can register by logging onto Microsoft.com/DreamSpace and follow Microsoft’s twitter handle @MS_eduIRL.